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This title comes with an introduction by Terry Gilliam. When Maxudov's bid to take his own life fails, he dramatises the vel whose failure provoked the suicide attempt. To the resentment of literary Moscow, his play is accepted by the legendary Independent Theatre and Maxudov plunges into a vortex of inflated egos. With each rehearsal more sparks fly and the chances of the play being ready to perform recede. Black Sw is the ultimate back-stage vel and a brilliant satire by the author of The Master and Margarita on his ten-year love-hate relationship with Stanislavsky, Method-acting and the Moscow Arts Theatre.
Mikhail Bulgakov (1891 - 1940) was born and educated in Kiev where he graduated as a doctor in 1916. He rapidly abandoned medicine to write some of the greatest Russian literature of this century. After a lifetime at odds with the stultifying Soviet regime, he died impoverished and blind in 1940, shortly after completing his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita. None of his major fiction was published during his lifetime.